Fantasy Doctor: Earning the fantasy creds

I’ve been real with my readers.

I haven’t tried to hide that I’m a Chicago Bears fan. It’s no secret Philip Rivers and I had a falling out with no signs of recovery in the near future. But the things I’ve been the most honest with you all about are the moves I think will help best create your fantasy dynasties.

Why listen to me, though? What gives Matthew Berry and Brandon Funston more fantasy credit than me? Well, experience, for starters. Paychecks from ESPN help their credibility. But more than that, it’s what these writers are to their readers.

Trustworthy.

It takes time to trust — I know that. I need to build up that reliability. But hey, I haven’t steered you wrong so far. Anyone who nabbed Matt Stafford (20 points) or Randall Cobb (16) knows what I’m talking about. Even with Stafford having a low two-touchdown game and Cobb sharing the attention with Jordy Nelson, both landed top-15 spots in their positions for points this week.

As predicted, Arian Foster was less than spectacular with 18 rushes for 57 yards and six catches for 33 yards for a lackluster total of 8 points. Meanwhile, Ben Tate took nine for 55 yards on the ground and made another two grabs for seven yards as a backup. His five points aren’t far behind the falling star, and Foster’s wounded calf still makes Tate look good on the bench.

I don’t expect you all to believe my every word because I nudged you the right way in Week 1. I’m not saying I’m smarter than the fantasy legends either. But I watch every game. I watch every player who gets a look. And I am an owner, just like many of you. So know that I’m working for that “Fantasy Legend” status and that I’m determined to prove myself to you.

With all that said, every Wednesday I’m going to publish a list of my weekly favorites — or least favorites — that should either start or sit. The studs, the duds and the outcasts I wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole. After Week 1 of the NFL, here are my picks:

START

Jordan Cameron (tight end, Browns) — Brandon Weeden is worthless. Last week, he completed just 26 of his 53 passes for a total of 289 yards. But 26 completions is still a factor, especially for Cameron who is long overdue for a breakout year. His performance Sunday earned him a comfortable sixth place in terms of points by tight ends. Miami doesn’t house premier defense, but nine catches for 108 yards and a touchdown on 13 targets are reliable numbers — especially against a Ravens defense that allowed seven passing touchdowns last week.

Stevan Ridley (running back, Patriots) — Ridley split the load with Shane Vereen and LeGarrette Blount this week. He carried the rock nine times for 46 yards and was benched after a fumble, which isn’t overly impressive. Vereen dislocated a bone in his left wrist in Sunday’s game, though, and is expected to miss at least eight weeks. Now, Ridley will get a shot at what most great athletes are defined by — redemption. Plus, it’s a rivalry match, which could lead to some fireworks. Or just a typical Jets game. Either way, Ridley looks great.

SIT

C.J. Spiller (running back, Bills) — Three points is a joke. For a listed top-tier running back to take 17 carries for 41 yards should make owners shudder. I mean, Fred Jackson not only managed to get to the field, but he also led the team in rushing yards at 67 — c’mon! It’s not going to be easier for him in Week 2 either against Carolina, who only allowed 70 rushing yards last week. The Panthers defense also has a strong middle group led by the decorated, second-year defenseman Luke Kuechly. If you’re putting your chips on Spiller, you might as well be yelling “hit me” at the blackjack table when you’ve already been dealt 20.

Any Pittsburgh Steelers player — Some of you took Ben Roethlisberger in your drafts. Maybe you were bold and put faith in Isaac Redman. The only thing I can say after Week 1 is what I’m sure everyone else has already said: You poor, poor people. The Steelers lost four starters in the fallout and produced very little offense at all. Big Ben’s poor numbers could be blamed on his receivers and line, but gaping holes like that won’t be fixed in a week — especially on the road against a conference rival. In short, if you have a Steelers player, bench him fast.

J.J. is a sophomore in Media. He can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @Wilsonable07.